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A $500K battery compensation is given by a jury to the estate of a woman who was killed in an IMPD incident



Indiana’s Indianapolis – A jury found that the City of Indianapolis had to pay the estate of a lady who passed away five years ago in a northeast Indianapolis church after being held by police.

This week, the jury returned a verdict ordering the city to pay $500,000 to Eleanor Northington’s estate. The jury found that Northington was beaten while in the custody of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, a decision that ultimately resulted in her death.

Northington’s estate claimed that the city and IMPD “violat[ed]…Ms. Northington’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights” when it filed a lawsuit against the city, IMPD, and the church where Northington passed away on January 26, 2021.

Prior accounts state that on February 7, 2019, at Mt. Calvary Apostolic Church, police were summoned to assist Northington, who congregants said was experiencing a mental health crisis. The address of the church is 6635 E. 42 Street.

Northington was at the church with her children, son, and son-in-law, attending a service. The lawsuit claimed that Northington had a very lengthy history of mental illness and was described as “extremely obese.”

According to the lawsuit, Northington allegedly experienced a mental episode during church and started acting aggressively toward the pastor and choir members.

The lawsuit claims that Northington once exited the sanctuary and took off her clothes. Then Northington, still in his underwear, made his way back to the sanctuary.

She got into arguments with some churchgoers and spat at them before the cops showed up, but her conduct remained unpredictable. According to the lawsuit, a preacher once attempted to stop Northington from spitting by covering her lips with a handkerchief.

Officers from the IMPD arrived and handcuffed Northington behind her back. The lawsuit claims that at one point, an altercation broke out and an officer pulled her to the ground, where she was lying on her stomach.

“An officer placed a knee on Ms. Northington’s back while she was handcuffed face-down,” according to the lawsuit.

Shag carpeting is what covers the church’s floors, according to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Northington told the cops she was having trouble breathing at one point while she was shackled.
The lawsuit claims that despite Northington’s cries, the officers persisted in pushing her on the ground.
After being brought to a nearby hospital, Northington was eventually taken off life support two days later.

According to earlier reports, Northington was restrained face down by the police, who said they had no choice but to do so. According to the lawsuit, Northington died as a result of a severe brain injury brought on by oxygen deprivation.

Although the study did not classify Northington’s cause of death as homicide—rather, it mentioned that Northington’s obesity and enlarged heart might have played a role in the fatal brain injury—it did ascribe her death to a lack of oxygen to the brain.

The lawsuit claimed that Ms. Northington died as a result of “IMPD’s use of excessive force, including handcuffs, wrestling Ms. Northington to the ground on her stomach, and “putting a knee in her back.”
The lawsuit further stated that Northington’s little son saw what happened. It was not stated how old the son was.

At the time, the lawsuit also claimed that Mt. Calvary Apostolic Church had engaged in negligence when “one of its pastors placed a cloth over Northington’s mouth impeding her airways,” so failing to uphold its duty to ensure the safety of all of its members.

Prior accounts state that IMPD Chief Bryan Roach defended the responding police, claiming that they had not used excessive force at the time. The lawsuit did not name the officers.

Prior to eventually going back to work, Roach had said that five cops had been placed on administrative leave following the incident, with an internal affairs probe and a criminal inquiry purportedly finding no infractions.


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